Teaching Profession Report Roundup

Writing Instruction

By Sarah D. Sparks — October 15, 2013 1 min read

The Common Core State Standards, by themselves, won’t be enough to guide teachers to best practices in writing instruction, according to a new analysis.

In the fall issue of School Psychology Review, researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Connecticut analyze writing standards from states and the common core to see how they reference 36 writing-instruction and testing practices that have been shown in prior studies to improve students’ writing skills.

They found that state standards vary widely in that regard. Some, such as Texas, point to about 75 percent of the best practices in a given grade; others barely note them.

The common core “strongly” signals half of the practices in any given grade, with some highlighted in all grades. Practices the study flags as missing from the common core are methods of teaching grammar skills, writing motivation, and genres of narrative writing.

The authors said teachers need more common core-focused professional development to help them fill the gaps in instructional strategies needed for students to write well.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 16, 2013 edition of Education Week as Writing Instruction

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